Mobile Marketing

The Key to Increased Sales

A number of Canadians say they would buy more if presented with promotional offers on their smartphone while out shopping. When asked what they would do if they received a promotion on their smartphone that applied to either the item they were buying or a complementary product, 38 per cent of Canadians said they would buy both items. In addition, 58 per cent said they’d be interested in receiving personalized promotions from nearby stores while out shopping. These are just a few of the findings of a SAS/Leger survey of 1,506 Canadian smartphone owners.

In other words, mobile marketing is essential to increased sales and customer loyalty.

SAS is a leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. The Canadian subsidiary of SAS has been in operation since 1988. Headquartered in Toronto, SAS employs more than 300 people across the country.

“When you couple the power of the smartphone, with really smart analytics, retailers have an opportunity to forge some really strong customer relationships, and elevate their marketing to new levels,” says Lori Bieda, Executive Lead for Customer Intelligence, SAS Americas. “Retailers who recognize the power of customer information and analytics and use it to deliver location-smart personalized offers to consumers, when and how customers want them, will win the lion share of the shopping basket.”

Personalized promotions can also help improve customer loyalty. Forty-seven per cent of smartphone owners said they would be more likely to return to a store that sent them personalized promotions to their phone while they were out shopping. The under 55 crowd said they are more likely to return to the store: 50 per cent, versus 29 per cent for those 55+.

Overall women appear to be a few steps ahead of men when it comes to taking advantage of mobile marketing opportunities. Women were more likely to say they would return to a store that offered them smartphone-based, localized promotions (51 per cent versus 43 per cent of men). They were also more likely to cash in on smartphone based in-store deals, with 44 per cent (versus 31 per cent of men) saying they would buy multiple items when presented with relevant promotions.

Electronic Personal Shopper

Smartphone users are looking to turn their device into an electronic personal shopper. Eighty-two per cent of survey respondents said it would be helpful to be able to get access to detailed product and service information on their phone while in store, suggesting that there is consumer demand for easy access to relevant information while out shopping.

“We think the mobile device will be a game changer to our business,” says Sumit Oberai, chief information officer and executive vice president of digital at Indigo Books & Music, Toronto. “Mobile allows our customers to have a truly integrated experience across our channels. We can drive customer engagement through elevating the in-store experience with loyalty and rewards, decision support, and personalized recommendations and offers that understand our customers’ needs.”

Retailers with both an online and bricks and mortar presence should consider offering purchasing suggestions to their customers while they are in store. Seven in 10 people surveyed said they find it helpful when retailers make suggestions based on their previous online purchases.

“Imagine the power of walking into a shopping mall, getting custom promotions delivered to you on your smart phone for things you’ve told the retailer you are interested in,” says Bieda. “That’s the power of big data and analytics coming together to deliver best in class marketing.”

Bieda tells us most all retailers have quickly gotten the message that this type of immediate marketing can provide huge benefits for their business.

“The vast majority of retailers now – if not all – have some kind of mobile online-based strategy in place,” she says. It’s an opportunity to monetize data and assemble a plan for the best way to communicate data to customers by leveraging analytics to do that.

“We see it across every sector, whether you’re a big-box retailer, specialty or e-tail it becomes the primary means to communicate with a customer.”
Looking at statistics and how individuals are behaving and access information online, consumers are consistently doing it more via smartphones and tablets.

“It’s expected that by 2015 the mobile device becomes the primary means by which they will actually access the websites. Online marketing such as email and SMS is by far cheaper than direct consumer marketing that we’ve traditionally been used to through direct mail.”

The first principle is to “go where the consumer goes” in order to capture as much of their attention as possible. When you supplement proper positioning with respect to targeted marketing along with strong analytics, the economics work out very nicely. Online marketing is a great equalizer for some of the smaller retailers, who in the past could not afford the high costs associated with direct mail marketing. Now it’s much more about properly identifying a target market and how best to reach them via technology.

“We’ve seen in a number of instances where you get retailers who are very pointed in their strategies and were very savvy in identifying their target market and they leveraged good segmentation and good predictive models armed with strong analytics do that. They can compete very nicely and more effectively often than a larger retailer in some cases because they can hone in to their targets easier.”

Easterners Seem More Receptive

Atlantic Canadian smartphone owners are most interested in receiving promotions and product notices sent to their mobile phones from nearby stores: 69 per cent compared to 57 per cent for the rest of Canada. Two thirds Canadian smartphone owners have bought something using the device, 18-44 year-olds being much more likely than those 55+: 73 per cent versus 41 per cent.

“It’s often more of a personalized shopping experience in the Atlantic Region in terms of how they are set up,” Bieda offers. “One theory could well be is that because it’s a more personalized shopping experience and they expect that whereas within more populated environments you’re more inundated with offers so you’re less likely to respond.”